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The Story of the Jews 2013

  • Ended
  • BBC Two
  • 2013-09-01T07:00:00Z
  • 60 mins
  • 4 hours, 25 mins
  • Documentary

This epic five-part series presented by historian Simon Schama explores the story of the Jewish experience from ancient times to the present day.

It begins 3,000 years ago with the emergence of a tribal people in a contested land and their extraordinary book, the Hebrew Bible, a chronicle of their stormy relationship with a faceless, formless, jealous God.

It was loyalty to this ‘God of Words’ that defined the distinct identity of the ancient Jews, and preserved it despite all that history could throw their way - war, invasion, deportation, enslavement, exile and assimilation.

The story unfolds with a dazzling cast of historical characters: Sigmund Freud dying in exile in London, Victorian evangelicals and explorers following ‘in the footsteps’ of Moses, Jewish mercenaries living, prospering and inter-marrying in the pagan land of Egypt, Messianic Jews dreaming of the Apocalypse and a Jewish historian, Josephus, who witnessed first-hand the moment when the apocalypse finally came and the Romans destroyed the Jewish High Temple in Jerusalem.

1 season

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